Windies A clinch T20 series with one match in hand

Kathmandu, May 3: West Indies ‘A’ won the five-match T20 series against Nepal with one match in hand. Defeating Nepal by 28 runs in the fourth T20 on Thursday, the travelling side won the series 3-1.

For the fourth time, West Indies ‘A’ started the match by batting first. While Nepal won the toss and called West Indies to bat in the 1st T20, Windies have won the toss and elected to bat in the other three.

As usual, Alick Athanaze and Johnson Charles opened the batting for West Indies ‘A’ at TU International Cricket Ground. Meanwhile, Alick failed to perform well as he was caught in the first ball of the second over bowled by Pratish GC. 

Alick departed for 5 off 7 and Andre Fletcher entered the crease to partner with Johnson. The duo – Johnson and Fletcher – then crossed the 100-run mark for the team. 

When Johnson departed as the second wicket in 9.6 over after registering a half-century, West Indies was at 101 runs. While Johnson scored a ton in the 3rd T20, he could only contribute 58 runs on Thursday.

On the other hand, Fletcher played an anchor inning. As Keacy Carty (4 off 10) departed early as the third wicket, Fletcher partnered with Fabian Allen to take the team over 200 runs. While GC took the wicket of Alick, Johnson and Keacy were the victims of Kushal Bhurtel.

By the end of 20 overs, Fletcher and Allen stayed not out at 84 and 33 runs respectively while the team, with 25 extra runs from Nepali bowlers, posted 209 runs on the board.

Skipper Paudel lone-warrior

Nepal chased 205 runs to defeat West Indies ‘A’ in the first T20; thus, the Rhino Army had hopes from the squad. However, the 11 members of the Playing XI, who are all in the T20 World Cup squad, fell short of 28 runs as skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel was alone once again.

Paudel scored 112 off 54 in the 1st T20 and 71 off 48 in the 2nd. While he was rested in the 3rd T20, Paudel scored 82 off 47 in the 4th. When Paudel departed as the fifth wicket in 13.3 overs, Nepal was at 124 runs on Thursday.

As none of the other Nepali batsmen performed well, the team could not win a match despite being in the chase till the end. Three middle-order batsmen – Sundeep Jora, Dipendra Singh Airee and Gulshan Kumar Jha – departed for the same score: 19 runs while Abinash Bohara also added 17 off 8 at the end.

Sompal Kami (10 off 10) was the only other batsman to score in double figures. Nevertheless, Kushal Bhurtel’s poor form continued as the opener departed for 1 off 5. Likewise, the other opener, Aasif Sheikh, who was inducted in the playing squad for the first time in the series, also departed for a duck (0 off 2).

Matthew Forde and Hayden Walsh took three wickets each while Fabian Allen and Gudakesh Motie bagged two each. Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi got stumped in the final ball of the 20th over of Motie and Nepal got bundled out for 181 runs.  

While West Indies has already clinched the series, they will be playing the final match of the series on May 4. Nepal will be eying to win the final match and end the series on a competitive and positive note.

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